Samaa Elibyari covers Malawi’s death penalty & Gamal Abdel Nasser’s legacy on Amandla

This week on Amandla, long-time activist and radio host Samaa Elibyari brings us two important stories. She interviews Mischek Jere about the efforts led by the UK-based organization Reprieve to have the death penalty abolished in Malawi. The death penalty is part of a penal system imposed by the British on the people of Malawi and other former colonies. This comes on the heels of last month’s 4-day conference in Nairobi, Kenya, themed ‘best practices for the abolition of the death penalty,’ which attracted advocates for the abolition of the death penalty across the globe. The conference had a particular focus on providing necessary skills for advocacy for States to uphold the right to life.

Elibyari’s second interview features discussion with Egyptian political analyst and activist Mohamed Sherif Kamel about Gamal Abdel Nasser’s complicated legacy. July 23, 1952 marks a turning point in modern Egyptian history. On that day, Gamal Abdel Nasser and 89 other Officers staged a coup d’état, ousting the monarchy then headed by King Farouk. The country was taken over by a Revolutionary Command Council of 11 officers controlled by Nasser, with Major General Muḥammad Naguib as the puppet head of state. In the spring of 1954, Naguib was deposed and placed under house arrest, and Nasser emerged from the shadows and named himself prime minister. He ruled Egypt from 1954 till his death in 1970. His legacy is hotly debated. Of all the Arab leaders of the past century, few had a lasting impact that extended to other Arab countries as had Nasser. Whether glorified or demonized, elevated or debased, hailed as a symbol of freedom, anti-colonialism and social justice, or tarnished as a ruthless dictator who cultivated a personality cult and popularised the dictator model of regimes among Arabs, Nasser remains an emotional and divisive subject.

Listen to the interviews aired July 26, 2023 on Amandla now.